I’m for real. Get naked. Now. Go stand in the mirror and look at your body. Don’t just stare at it and pick out its imperfections, like, really look at it. Unbiased. How do you feel? If you feel anything other than acceptance and peace, then you should keep reading.
11 year old me would have never done the above. Growing up, I was bullied a lot for being taller, more developed and over all more round than any other kids I knew. I was constantly reminded how unhappy I was with my appearance, and growing up in a culture that thrives off of toxicity didn’t make it any better. When I got to high school, my body partly figured out what was supposed to go where and I started having a little shape to me. However, I was always met with comments like “If only you were a bit smaller you would be so hot” or “Lay off the donuts will you, you’re almost there!”. I always had a love hate relationship with my body. One second, I’m in awe of all the amazing things it does on a regular basis, most of which I’m unaware of and don’t even have to think about. On the other hand, I couldn’t comprehend how I could be so targeted for something that, quite honestly, did not and could not pertain to anyone else. This led to me having major issues and boy, did I have those. Not not only was my confidence low but I struggled to see myself in any other light other than one I had been living, don’t be seen, don’t be heard.
It took me a long, long time, failed diets, missed workout days, or weeks, or months, and lots of experimenting, tears and breakdowns to realize……to hell with it all. I’m 23 years old now, and it took me awhile to see that this is the one and only body I have and have been given, and I need to appreciate it and care for it, no matter how it presents itself. Now body positivity and acceptance is very different than body tolerance. If there is something you see you can improve on, go for it. It’s important to realize that our relationship with our bodies is fluid and changing, and it’s ok to have bad days.
I tried something new recently. I did a photo shoot with body paint. Initially I was extremely nervous. I didn’t know if I would look at the pictures and cringe. But I was pleasantly surprised, as for the first time in a long time, I smiled, but it wasn’t just the way I looked (even though I looked bomb af), it was the way I felt, on the inside. That feeling I wouldn’t trade for the world. So here’s to loving the crap out of our bodies!